Fear has gripped residents of Gichaka in Ol Joroorok Nyandarua County following the closure of the neighboring Uhuru primary school after some pupils and teachers tested positive for COVID-19.
This is the first major incident to be reported in Nyandarua since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
A community health volunteer, Wanjau Kariuki said panic was evident among villagers after the school was closed and pupils sent home to mingle with the residents.
On Friday, June 11, 50 pupils from the school visited Nyairok dispensary complaining of diarrhea and vomiting.
On Monday, June 14, another group of 20 pupils visited the dispensary with similar symptoms but this time they had a high fever of 39 degrees and many complained of sore throat.
“This made us suspect COVID-19 and antigen test were done to 15 pupils where 8 turned positive. On Tuesday, we a team to take PCR. Other sample taken includes water for analysis," part of the report by the area health staff to the County health executive read.
The report further indicates that the team agreed to close the school for two days and pupils in class five to eight to report back on June 21, while pp1 to grade three to report back after 10 days on June 28 while they continue monitoring the situation.
On Monday 33 members of the school were tested and 12 turned positive (8pupils and 4teachers), the report adds.
In the meantime, the Sub-county Education officer was asked to ensure all schools adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
As of today Wednesday, June 16, the number of positive pupils had risen to 16 after more results were received but the number of teachers remained four.
The County health executive, John Mungai said samples from pupils were collected on Monday after 70 of them visited Nyairoko Dispensary complaining of diarrhea and sore throats.
He said that the first 50 learners were treated on Friday, but 20 more pupils visited the dispensary with similar conditions, prompting the health workers to conduct the COVID-19 tests.
He added that eight tested positive on Monday but the number of pupils with signs of COVID-19 escalating to 20 on Tuesday which prompted him to close the school.
Education executive Ndung’u Wangenye assured that pupils who tested positive were stable and under home-based care.
Wangenye said that they will enhance surveillance in the neighboring schools to contain the spread of the virus.
“In the meantime parents, pupils and teachers should follow set protocols to contain the spread,” he concluded.